Trio of South Korean carriers banned from taking on new customers for most of next month

Trio of South Korean carriers banned from taking on new customers for most of next month
The Korea Communications Commission does not like subsidized pricing on new smartphones.So when SK Telecom, LG U+ and KT offered subsidies on new handsets that exceeded 270,000 won ($252 USD), the commission members were ready to take action against the carriers. Starting January 7, LG U+ is banned from signing on new subscribers for 24 days. SK Telecom's ban will run for 22 days and KT's will last 20 days. Besides not being able to add new accounts, the three were fined various amounts by the KCC. SK Telecom will be shelling out 6.89 billion won ($6.42 million USD), while KT will be on the hook for 2.85 billion won ($2.654 million USD). The smallest fine, at 2.15 billion won ($2 million USD) is owed by LG U+.

Besides the new account ban and the fines, each of the three mobile operators has been given 1 month to submit a paper to the KCC detailing a new sales system that will go into place to make sure that the infractions never occur again. Between July and December of this year, the Korean Communications Commission watched as certain customers received the subsidies amounting to over the aforementioned 270,000 won. LG U+ was the carrier that offered subsidies the most out of the trio, followed by SK Telecom and then KT. All three were unhappy with the punishment as you might imagine.

Thankfully for those in the States, where most consumers are hooked on subsidized pricing, the FCC doesn't punish mobile operators' business decisions by banning them from taking in new accounts. You could imagine the uproar that would occur if the Feds tried to stop the carriers from offering subsidies in excess of $252 on new smartphones.

source: Telecompaper via UnwiredView
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